A rookie Louisville police officer who was shot in the head while responding to a deadly April shooting at a bank is set to be released after spending 109 days in the hospital where he was treated for his injuries, Louisville police said Thursday.
Nickolas Wilt, 26, had graduated from a police academy just 11 days before the shooting at Old National Bank in the Kentucky city that left five people dead and others injured. Wilt was one of the first officers on the scene and ran toward the gunfire without hesitation, authorities said; police eventually shot and killed the gunman.
Wilt is being discharged from the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville after three months of medical and rehabilitation treatments. He had brain surgery after he was shot, and spent roughly a month on a ventilator, police said.
“This is the day we have all been praying for,” a statement from the Louisville Metro Police Department reads. “The Wilt family has felt so much love and support from so many people and would like to extend an invite to all LMPD, all first responders, as well as the entire community to attend a celebration of Ofc. Wilt returning home!”
The celebration is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Southeast Christian Church in Middletown, east of Louisville.
“This will be the first time (Wilt) will be able to see, in person, the love and support the community has for him. We look forward to seeing you there! Thank you for all the love and support!” the statement reads.
Officer had lung complications from shooting
The shooting at Old National Bank broke out just after 8:30 a.m. on April 10, police said, about 30 minutes before the bank would have opened to the public.
Officers responded within three minutes of being dispatched and found the gunman – Connor Sturgeon, a 25-year-old bank employee – still was firing inside the bank, authorities said.
The five who were killed, all between the ages of 40 and 64, were Joshua Barrick, Deana Eckert, Tommy Elliott, Juliana Farmer and James Tutt.
Among the injured was another officer who was hospitalized after being hit in the elbow, police said.
By May, Wilt was off a ventilator and all other life-sustaining equipment, while still dealing with pneumonia and “other lung complications,” Louisville police said in a Facebook post that month. Wilt had shown neurological improvement and was able to follow some commands, the May post reads.
CNN’s Christina Zdanowicz and Michelle Watson contributed to this report.